The C.R. England Story
C.R. England was started by a father and his two sons. While they all had a passion for trucking, their background started in farming. The first 50 years of business were all about navigating through challenges of an amateur interstate system and industry. However, through hauling potatoes and creating the 72-hour coast-to-coast offering, C.R. England was competing with the big guys. The next 50 years of business were full of innovations, major growth to keep pace with industry demands, and a continued passion for trucking. Today, we are a trucking company still run by truckers who take great pride in the company’s atmosphere of leading-edge careers and customer solutions. This company was started by family, and all who join today are a part of the family at C.R. England.
Within 10 years of Chester starting the business, The Great Depression hit. The U. S. unemployment rate reached 25% and those who were employed had their wages slashed. Chester’s idea to save his business was to work harder and to work smarter. He avoided the kind of failure that so many families and businesses suffered
The Great Depression
The beginning of the 1930’s marked the Great Depression. Times were tough, but Chester stayed optimistic and taught his sons the value of hard work. The company survived through the 30’s with hard work and determination. Those qualities continued through the 40’s and World War II.
World War II
As his sons served our country, Chester maintained his small business as Gene and Bill did everything they could to make it back home. As Chester was building C.R. England, his sons were helping overseas by saving money and selling their cigarette rations. Gene and Bill returned home to a hero’s welcome as decorated war veterans, including a Bronze Star for Gene, and started working for Chester again. Within two weeks of their return home, they got their first Kenworth truck. Gene and Bill took a one truck operation and made it into a fleet, laying the foundation for future growth.
The 72 hour Service allowed them to distinguish themselves from other trucking companies. There was no such thing as Interstate Highways. They made it happen on 2 lane roads with undependable equipment. Their customers were delighted and the business grew.
WWII & Beyond
Gene and Bill were in the South Pacific. Gene at war When they returned from military service they picked up where they left off – hauling mostly potatoes out of Utah and Idaho to CA, and fresh fruits and vegetables back. Everything went well until about 1957 when an unforeseen turn of events virtually eliminated the potato hauling to the west coast.
The business was transformed when we filed applications for licenses to haul all kinds of freight and those applications were granted. A whole new array of products and geographical lanes were now available.
C. R. England was on the map! In 1980 we had about 180 trucks.
The Third Generation
The 3rd generation entered the business and helped push through regulations the company was undergoing. The world was turned upside down when the industry was deregulated in 1980. The licenses were now easy to obtain. All the little guys got licenses, started hauling the freight and lowered their rates to get it. The large carriers struggled to cut their costs. 90 of the largest 100 carriers in 1980 are now out of business – mostly because of deregulation. As a mid-sized carrier we also faced the challenge of falling rates. 1985 was the only year in the modern history of the company that we lost money.
The Electronic Age
In the early 1990’s we were one of the first fleets to adopt mobile communications (Qualcomm). This was text messaging before the real text messaging came to be. Next, we needed a lot of drivers.
Without a steady source of drivers we had no chance of becoming a major player in the industry. We were one of the first carriers to open our own schools. This was taking a risk, but it paid off in a big way.
Dream of the 90’s
Then came the tremendous growth from 1985 to 1995, which was a growth rate of 650%. During that era someone else had big plans about the future!
A New Company
We transformed the business by adding 4 new operating divisions: 1990-2010
Continuing to Deliver Excellence
Truly it can be said that C.R. England has become a “smarter, better, faster” type of operation over the years. C.R. England has grown progressively into a nationwide leader in the trucking industry. Current management includes several third, fourth, and fifth generation England’s who believe in quality, hard work, and integrity as the basis for success.
2020 & Beyond
Truly it can be said that C.R. England has become a “smarter, faster, better” type of operation over the years.
The company has grown progressively into a nationwide leader in refrigerated truckload service. The current
management team includes several third and fourth generation Englands who believe quality, hard work and
integrity are the basis for success.